As EVs become more and more popular as an alternative mode of transportation, you’ve probably noticed locals zipping through the streets on electric scooters. Maybe you’ve wondered if this would be a good fit for your commuter lifestyle.
What To Consider When Comparing E-Scooters
You wouldn’t be wrong. In addition to being environmentally friendly, e-scooters are fun and convenient. That said, there are so many different models and brands out there that choosing the best one for your needs can be overwhelming. Not to worry—we’ve put together a buying guide for customers who may be new to the world of e-scooters.
We advise searching for vehicles with wheels that are at least 10 inches in diameter. Smaller wheels typically deliver a rougher ride and are more likely to get stuck in cracks and potholes in the road.
Pneumatic (air-filled) and non-pneumatic (airless) tires are two available options. Despite them being more prevalent, air-filled tires can be more prone to punctures and need regular maintenance. On the other hand, non-pneumatic tires need less upkeep, are relatively sturdy, and shock-absorbent.
Electric scooter suspension operates similarly to that of other vehicles. In order to reduce the impact from the ground’s dips and bumps, proper suspension is required. You will experience uncomfortable vibrations and jolts without the proper suspension for your ride, which may render traveling challenging at times.
Suspension should be a top priority for you if your regular travel routes consist largely of unpaved, old roads.
- Weight & Maximum Load
Something that’s important to consider at the start of your e-scooter purchasing journey is weight capacity. Think about how much weight you need your scooter to be able to handle. Remember that e-scooters with a higher weight capacity also tend to weigh more themselves, making them more difficult to carry around or haul up flights of stairs.
Additionally, not all electric scooters can support the same weight. Most electric scooters can carry a load of up to 100 kg, but some are only effective with riders weighing 80 kg or less.
The performance of the electric scooter will likely be compromised if it isn’t suited for your weight, which could endanger your safety. To get the most use out of your scooter, make sure that it can support a weight well above your own.
- Miles Per Charge
The battery life of an e-scooter is also a crucial factor to consider when comparing brands and models. It determines how long or far you can ride on a single charge. If you plan to travel long distances, you’ll want to look for a scooter with enough battery capacity to handle your journey. You should also consider how long it takes to get a full charge and how portable your scooter’s battery pack is. Jolta’s collection of e-scooters features all kinds of battery types. Just check the product pages for information on the e-scooter’s battery type and power capacity.
- Maximum Speed
Think about how fast you want to be able to go while riding your e-scooter. Definitely look for a scooter that can meet your need for speed, but make sure you also think about things like safety and conditions in the areas you’ll be riding in. Most electric scooters top out at 20 mph, but if you’re traveling through a congested city, hitting that max isn’t always safe or efficient.
It’s also worth noting that speed limits and regulations vary by state. You can find more information in our regulation section.
- Motor Power
Opt for an electric scooter that delivers at least 250 watts of power. This is enough to get you over flat ground and up small hills. If you live in a hilly area, choose an e-scooter with dual motors or a robust single motor instead. Just keep in mind that even a 500-watt motor will lose speed going up a very steep incline.
One of the best ways to stay safe during night rides is to make sure your e-scooter has sufficient lighting. You can always buy extra lights, but it’s good to start off with an e-scooter that comes with a great lighting system built in already. If you’re riding after dark, make sure you have both front and rear lights.
You have several types of brakes to choose from when purchasing an e-scooter:
Electric or regenerative: Regenerative brakes convert kinetic energy into electric energy. They use this energy to charge your battery, making them much more efficient.
Foot brakes: You can activate foot brakes by pushing down on the fender with your heel. This will slow the scooter, so you’ll have to move your foot off the deck in order to brake.
Drum brakes: These brakes are housed within the wheel hub. They feature pads that push outward against the braking surface. This creates friction, slowing the wheel. Because the brake is fully enclosed in the wheel hub, it’s completely protected from the environment.
Disc brakes: Disc brakes (which can be either hydraulic or mechanical) are considered among the safest and best-performing types of brakes for an e-scooter. They offer strong braking power in both dry and wet conditions. They’re also very lightweight and easy to adjust, if you need to. The key difference between mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes has to do with how force is transmitted from the brake levers on the handlebars to the brake calipers near the hubs. Hydraulic disc brakes use a fluid-filled brake line, whereas mechanical disc brakes utilize a steel cable.
- Water Resistance
People are often shocked to learn that scooters aren’t always waterproof. It’s crucial to purchase a scooter made specifically for riding in the rain and/or over slippery surfaces if you intend on doing so. Standard electric scooters are susceptible to water damage, and if this occurs, the warranty will not cover you.
E-Scooter Law and Regulations By State
The Bottom Line on Choosing an Electric Scooter
Features are definitely important to consider when comparing e-scooters, but keep in mind that everything depends on the kinds of activities you’ll use your scooter for and the type of conditions you’ll be riding in. Flat ground and dry conditions don’t require a powerful motor, brakes, or tires, so you’ll likely save some money there. Make sure you evaluate all of your needs and select an e-scooter that will best cater to them.
Jolta offers a wide variety of e-scooters you can select from, tailored to all kinds of activities and lifestyles, so you’re bound to find the perfect fit no matter what.